Renovations underway at SAERC
PORT HAWKESBURY — The most recent stage of a long-term renovation of the high school in Port Hawkesbury is now underway.
The Strait Regional School Board received advanced funding for the additions and renovations project at the Strait Area Education Recreation Centre. This component of the project will include change room renovations and reconfiguration, music room renovations and fire code improvements and is valued at just over $1 million.
“It’s fair to say that this project is fast-tracked and the vast majority of that work will be done in the next two months,” superintendent Jack Beaton said.
The school is nearing the end of a seven-year major reconstruction project, with much of the work taking place in the summers when students aren't attending classes.
The school has had to make some adjustments and some spaces won’t be able to be used from time to time, but the regular programs will carry on, Beaton said.
“There will be, I guess, some inconveniences and things like that, perhaps some rerouting of students that will have to happen but it won’t interfere with their day-to-day programming,” he said. “That school and that staff, administration have made exceptional efforts to accommodate things like late starts, and changing of the building just because they value the enhancements to the building.”
Board chair Mary Jess MacDonald noted the school steer- ing team recently met with parties involved in the project.
“We were looking, with the team — the designers and the province and our staff and the community people — we were looking at where are the next steps and what people are looking forward to in that building,” she said.
Other upcoming changes down the road include changes to school grounds, including the bus loop and parking, MacDonald noted.
The phase completed last summer involved the reconstruction of the high school’s classrooms. The previous year involved centre core areas, labs and support spaces and some classrooms.
The school opened in 1978. The work in this phase will be done by Brilun Construction of Sydney.